Kawasaki disease is an illness characterized by inflammation of arteries, veins, capillaries and lymph nodes. It affects skin, mouth, throat and lymph nodes. It develops mostly in children under the age of 5 years. It affects young boys more than girls. However, it can affect anyone at any age. Its causes are not known. Its symptoms include fever, rash, swelling of mouth, lips, throat, hands, and feet and many more. It is not a serious illness and can be treated easily. If it is left untreated, it may cause serious heart problems. It is one of the leading causes of heart diseases in children.
Is Kawasaki Disease Lifelong?
Children with Kawasaki disease recover completely in 10-14 days or more in its acute cases. It does cause serious illness. In the early stages, it may affect the heart and lead to heart ailments. In rare cases, when it is left untreated, it causes long-term heart complications. It can damage the heart and cause a lifelong impact on the heart. It is one of the leading causes of heart ailments in children. (1)
Kawasaki disease may cause inflammatory changes in the blood vessels of the arteries of the heart. These inflammatory changes are called vasculitis. It affects coronary arteries. It leads to the impaired supply of blood to heart muscles. It can result in the development of aneurysm (enlargement of the wall of the blood vessel). It also causes an abnormal pattern of heartbeats (arrhythmias). It may trigger a heart attack at a very young age. In some cases, the child may die of a heart attack. It also imposes the risk of heart attacks later in life. For this reason, the people who had a history of Kawasaki disease should have a regular echocardiogram in every 1 to 2 years to screen out heart ailments.
It is not known how Kawasaki disease is caused. This disease occurs mostly as localized outbreaks in the late winter or early spring season. It is supposed that this disease appears due to an infectious agent like a virus. Scientists assume that the disease is caused by genetic and environmental factors. It is also suggested that this disease is caused due to autoimmune reactions in the body. It is also found in many studies that siblings of affected child develop this disease. It affects boys more than girls.
Kawasaki Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of Kawasaki disease appear at the end of winter season and start of the spring season. In some Asian countries, it may affect the population in the middle of the summer season.
Early Stage Symptoms Of Kawasaki Disease
The early stage of Kawasaki disease may end in two weeks. Its symptoms include
- Fever that may remain for five or more days
- Swelling of lips
- The appearance of rashes on the torso and groin
- Bloodshot eyes
- Strawberry tongue
- Swelling in hands, feet and lymph nodes
Late Stage Symptoms Of Kawasaki Disease
It comes after two weeks and it causes the peeling of the skin in sheets, temporary arthritis, vomiting, pain in the abdomen and temporary loss of hearing.
Kawasaki disease is also known as Kawasaki syndrome or mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome. It is a disease that affects children. It affects children under the age of 5 years. It was first described by Tomisaku Kawasaki in the year 1967. This disease existed for a long time but it was noticed by Kawasaki for the first time. It usually develops in children of age under 5 years. However, it can affect children and teenagers belonging to any race or ethnic background. It is most common in children who belong to Korean and Japanese descent.
Kawasaki disease is an inflammatory disease of arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymph nodes. It usually affects children under the age of 5 years. Children usually recover from the disease in a few days of treatment without any significant serious ailment. If it is left untreated, it affects the health of the heart and may cause serious heart disease. In such cases, it causes lifelong risk of heart attacks.
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- How Did My Child Get Kawasaki Disease?